In the European Union – Mr.Xavier Prats-Monné, the European Union’s Deputy-Director General of the Directorate-General for Education and Culture, has visited in Israel as a guest of Education Cities. Following this visit, a European conference in Brussels titled Education Cities is underway.
In Spain – Yaacov Hecht and the Israeli artist, Hanoch Piven have co-hosted a lecture and workshop at the Barcelona conference titled “Democracy and Creativity in the Classroom”. In addition, different contacts have been formed for the establishment of Education Cities in Spain. The first phase of this process involves the mutual construction of a tool for the “2021 innovation mapping” with a team from Education Cities that has arrived to Spain for this purpose.
In Bulgaria – Education Cities is supporting the establishment of a democratic school in the city of Sofia. In addition, contacts have been made for the development of Education Cities in Plovdiv with the help of the European Union. This activity is following workshops that were held in Bulgaria. In addition, a program for remote mentorship of teachers’ communities for the development of mentorship according to the SML approach, and a plan for the construction of a virtual/physical school in the Skillshare design.
In Holland – A group of educators has toured Israel for the purpose of learning the Education Cities Model and starting an Education Cities pilot in a Dutch city.
In Brazil – Following the conference titled : Democratic Inventions – Constructions of happiness that was held in Sao-Paulo, Mr. Philip Grayer from Edutour organization is arriving to Israel for the goals of forming collaborations with Education Cities.
South Korea – The IDEC conference, which was founded by Yaacov Hecht 22 years ago in Hadera, Israel, was held during the first week of august 2014. The 2014 IDEC conference welcomed Mayors from different cities in the world who are interested in the worldview of Education Cities.
New Zealand – IDEC 2015 took place in Nelson, New Zealand (A city in the north end of the southern island). Nelson is interested in becoming an Education City and in the mutual promotion of a municipal master plan titled 2060.
France – In November 2016 in Strasburg, the world forum for democracy, convened by the European Council, focused on the relationship between education and democracy.
Yaacov Hecht and prof’ George Hadad, president of the Sorbonne university, sat together in the same panel and talked about education and democracy. Here is the link to the session, which was fascinating. Yaacov, supported by a huge group from the IDEC and UDEC community, and graduates of democratic schools led by Derry Hannam, offered the traditional European education system to let 20% of the curriculum, be autonomic. Meaning, the teachers and the students will decide together what to do with these hours, without being committed to any external demands.
Guess what, when asked at the end of the session, 80% of the audience (2500 people), voted for this idea. Many of them wanted to increase the percentage of free hours.